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CAROLA LILLIE HARTLEY
Publisher and Contributing Writer

Photograph: Courtesy of Scott Longon

This photograph, taken in the early 1880s, shows the St. Landry Parish Courthouse, constructed in c.1847, that was destroyed in a horrible 1886 fire. Although it was determined the fire was deliberately set, no one was ever charged for the crime. It has been a Cold Case for over 130 years. The story about this courthouse and that fire will be coming to St. Landry Now soon. And the mystery of who started that fire may finally be solved. Stay tuned.

Following that 1886 fire, for a few months the parish was involved in a fight over the location of the new courthouse. In the end Opelousas won out and continued as the seat of St. Landry Parish. Later that year a new courthouse was constructed on the square in downtown Opelousas, the fourth building to sit on that square since the first one in 1806. (Photograph courtesy of Scott Longon.)